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The Kindergarten Teacher 12 rating

Maggie Gyllenhaal gives a career-best performance as a kindergarten teacher who finds herself in an ethical quagmire after discovering the poetic talents of a precocious student.

Drama 2018 97 mins

Director: Sara Colangelo

Overview

Lisa Spinelli (Gyllenhaal) is intense. Her life is not. Her marriage is devoid of intimacy, her children reject her efforts to ignite their creative souls and she spends night after night at home diligently eating nutritious but unremarkable dinners. Searching for a richer existence, she takes an evening poetry class, sharing her ardent compositions to a largely unreceptive class and teacher (Gael García Bernal). When a young boy in her care suddenly begins to recite poetry, Lisa takes it upon herself to record the work and share it, with unexpected consequences. 

An intelligent adaptation of an Israeli film of the same name, Sara Colangelo’s change of location to the US reveals fascinating insights into the preoccupations of the English-speaking liberal classes, gleaning subtle observations on identity, guardianship and artistic endeavour.